Tavia texted me on October 25th to let me know she had an appointment the next day. After a week at 4-5 cm, 80% effaced, she felt fairly certain she would be having a baby the next day. The next morning, I received a 5:30 am text to tell me contractions were painful...until they arrived at the hospital. After walking the halls and bouncing on birthing balls, things had pretty much stalled out by their 7:30 am appointment. But Tavia and Jimmy live in Navarre. That kind of distance is pretty risky when you're sitting at the halfway mark. Not wanting to chance having a baby on the side of the highway, they decided to stay and keep walking. Fortunately, Cordova Mall is right across the street from the hospital. Why walk around a boring old hospital when you can shop yourself into labor?
I waited and waited and didn't hear anything. So I decided I would go for a run. Twelve minutes into my run, I got another text...
Tavia: At 7 cm with strong painful contractions and going to labor and delivery triage.
Me: OK! I'm getting there as fast as I can. Text me your room number. (And I sprint home, rinse off, get dressed, and make it to the hospital in 25 minutes FLAT!)
T: The LDRs are full, we're in an OR.
Me to Nurse Angie: An OR?!?!?! Are they going to let me in?!?!?!
Angie assured me they would and that she was with Tavia...and things were moving FAST. Poor Tavia, I had no idea, but she thought I lived in Navarre. I'm sure by that point she had resigned herself to me not making it. On top of having to labor and deliver in an OR full of incessantly beeping machinery, and in a surgical cap, her birth experience wasn't shaping up to be everything she'd hoped.
But I made it.
And, for me at least, being in the OR was pretty dang awesome (besides having to press a button on my right every 6 seconds to get a 7 second reprieve from the beeping). In LDR suites, the head of the bed is up against the wall. In the OR the bed is in the middle of the room, allowing me to shoot from any angle. Being able to stand behind the bed to capture the moment of Latham's birth from nearly exactly mama's perspective, let me get everything I wanted in--and keep everything I didn't out of--the shot.
Tavia was incredible, delivering 10 pound baby boy Latham with no drugs. It was amazing (and weirdly entertaining) getting to experience a labor similar to the stereotyped births we see in movies. It was gritty. And emotional. There was cussing, and growling, and swaying, and kneeling, and yelling, and pleading for a c-section.
At one point Tavia said to her OB, "Dr. Medlock, do you hate me right now?". We all thought that was pretty funny.
For the sake of modesty, a lot of that couldn't be included in the slideshow. You'll have to just take my word for it that it was epic. Here is what I can share. Enjoy!
Check out Latham's newborn session here, and don't forget to leave a comment below to help Tavia and Jimmy earn a FREE 8X10 mounted print from their session (a $40.00 value). 50 commenters are needed for a freebie.
Thank you for reading and watching!
Natalie is a lifestyle family photographer serving Pensacola, FL and surrounding areas. With a passion for capturing candid family moments, she specializes in birth and newborn lifestyle photography. Natalie lives in Pensacola with her husband and two (very difficult to photograph) children. Besides photography, she has a passion for modern sewing projects and graphic design.
Photo credit: Indie Pearl Photography